Monday, March 28, 2016

If You See The Line Then You Love To Grind

Our tip this week corresponds with our title (which might very well be a first).   When you are cutting your glass you should always be sure to stay INSIDE the live that you've marked on your glass.  The reasoning behind this is twofold.  First, the line is marked around the pattern piece and is therefore larger than the piece of glass you need to cut.  Second, you also need to get two Pisces of foil between each piece of glass which is also thicker than the line that is marked on your glass.  I know it's hard to tell yourself to do it, but cutting off your line insures that your grinding will be kept down to a minimum.   I can't tell you how many students tell me over and over that they're afraid that their pieces will be too small if they cut off the line.  It's what I do and my pieces fit wonderfully with minimal grinding.

So Betty did a little looking around and found a beautiful new Butterfly Pattern on the internet that she turned into a Lawn Ornament this week.  I have to say that her colors are exceptional and I just love seeing a new Butterfly pattern being made.  I have no doubt that students will be asking about this one now that it's posted here.

And Sue completed these two lovely Easter Bonnet Lawn Ornaments just in time for the holiday.  They've been attached to stakes and are most likely decorating her yard as you are reading this.  And if the Hats weren't enough she also managed to start and finish an incredible Easter Basket as well!  Sue never ceases to amaze me with the amount of work she accomplishes and the quality of it!

Carol completed her 3 Humming Birds and as promised they are all flying straight this week.  She also made a fourth that she turned into a Lawn Ornament and on that one she learned how to use a glass bead for an eye.   It's far easier than grinding a hole for each eye, but it can only be done on small projects or the eye 'disappears'.

Betty also completed her latest jester which has green eyes that look much better than the black ones that I thought she was going to use.  When I asked her about them she said that she had  decided to replace them with a different color as soon as she had them in place last week.   I know a good call when I see it. :-)

Mary Grace has completed yet another American Flag Lawn Ornament leaving her with just one more to go.  I'm going to officially state that she certainly has this pattern down now.

Carol not only finished her Humming Birds but she also managed to start her version of the ever popular Nativity Scene.  Carol only had a black and white picture to work with so she mis-identified a few colors but since nothing was cut yet it was very simple to fix.  She's got her colors straight now so look to see her get much further on this when she returns.  

UPDATE:  Carol's water glass has arrived meaning that next week she'll be working on her final panel for the door inserts that she's been making.  Her Nativity Scene will most likely wait a week before we see it again.

Brenda's got the border ground and attached to her JP Window which means that it's all ready for its brass channel and a coat of solder.

Rowena's window is a a story that sounds like it came straight out of a soap opera.  She gave up on waiting for her first bevel cluster to arrive and ended up ordering a similar replacement bevel about 3 months later.   When the replacement  arrived it was missing two  pieces but as luck would have it her first choice came in a week later.  She wrapped the original cluster and was about to tack it together when we discovered that it was also missing two pieces!  But it really wasn't.   There are actually two small places where there are no bevels in this cluster but we're going to fill them in by slicing a star bevel in half (which fits perfectly)  You'll see how that all works out when we return next week.


Gale came in and resumed work grinding her Magnolia Window and even got the center all wrapped in plenty of time for us to cut and size the strips for her border.  Gale will be soldering this window before you know it.  

Martha took up working on her Fleur De Lis and got most of the background cut out.  This window hangs at an angle (very much like a baseball diamond) so cutting the rainwater glass required her to cut it at an angle as well or the grain would run in a very unnatural way.   It tends to waste some glass but that's the price you pay when going against the grain.

Becky S got her final baroque blue border attached to her Circular Spiral Window and adding that border made the window large enough to get a zinc channel bent to fit around it.  She has the front side of this soldered already and her soldering around the solid lead sections is even better than what I accomplished on my window!  I can't wait to see this colored so you can see the leaded sections.


Shelley's Red Fish Window is moving right along.  She's not only got all of the water cut out but she's also begun cutting the glass for the actual fish as well and is moving along swimmingly! (Get it?)  She changed the color of the water and I have to admit that it was a good change.  

Linda F's got most of her Turkey Suncatcher cut and ground already.  I remember when Linda first started and had trouble getting her glass to flow the way she wanted it to.  Now she's capable of shaping any piece perfectly.  Just look how wonderfully this fits together.

One of our newest students, Sheri,  got her background attached and then added a semi-beveled border to her window.  With all of the cutting behind her she's ready to relax and start soldering.  My tip to her is this:  Slow and steady forms the bead. 

Linda L has the three Easter Rabbits she had tacked together last week all surrounded by background glass and she's even begun soldering them already.  Her borders are all cut out and ground and she plans on attaching them at home during the week.  She's got a Mickey Mouse Lamp that she's looking forward to making next so I think she'll be working extra hard to complete these Bunnies just so she can get to work on that lamp.

Susan's eggs are all laid out and all but one are wrapped.  One slight snag was her discovering a bag of un-ground pieces but it was a quick and easy fix for her.  Now she only has one left to wrap and she'll be moving on to decorating these eggs with a coat of lead!

Terry continued wrapping her spiral flower window and then got everything tacked together.  We've worked out the size for her borders and will attach them when she comes back in.   She'll be starting on the second, looser section of this pair soon enough.


Barbara was the only person who managed to make it in to class on Wednesday night this week.  That means that we got an amazing amount of work done since I was able to focus completely on Barbara.  Her Butterfly only needs its wings joined together and she would have been able to do that if she had the easel that this will rest on with her.   Barbara just didn't think that she'd get so much completed in one class so she didn't think to bring it with her.

Bonnie's got her Study In Straight Lines all tacked together and is ready to begin soldering when she returns.  This is a perfect example of how important it is to position your pieces before you tack everything down.  All her lines match and everything is perfect because she took the time to place all her pieces before she tacked them.   This is the perfection that we strive for in our windows.


Myrt has the front of  her Cross De Lis all soldered and will flip it over to finish it when she comes back in.   This window is almost complete and Myrt has made excellent time on it!  Look to see this finished when we return with our next update.

Vickie now has her geometric window all tacked together save for a thin piece of the inner red ribbon border which cracked while she was wrapping it.  It's far from the end of the world though because all she needs to do is place a piece of the red glass under her window and trace out a new piece.  Doing it this way insures that she won't have much grinding to do and then she'll add her final border. There's even a good chance that Vickie will begin soldering this during her next class. 


Cindy started cutting out the background glass for her LSU Tiger De Lis Window.  She also began wrapping a lot of what she already has ground so you can now see what the lead lines will look like in the top center and left sections of the Fleur De Lis.

Jeannette has all of the background cut out, ground and wrapped on her Peacock window.  I knew things would go quickly once the bird itself was tacked together.  Next week she'll add the thin red/orange border and then finish this window off with a final border using square bevels tipped at 45 degree angles so they look more like diamonds.  She's changing the border design from the one that was originally drawn on the pattern but we're not exactly sure how yet.  Well see how that turns out next week.

And then lastly, Betty liked the colors in her new Butterfly so much that she decided to make the standard Butterfly Lawn Ornament using the same color scheme.  She's already got it all cut out and ready to be ground. So this will be finished before you know it.

And that's it for this week.  Come back and see us again next week when we cover even more completed windows and new ones about to be started on.

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

Monday, March 21, 2016

The Big Gender Reveal

Let's start things off with a quick but VERY important tip.  The glass pieces that you cut will only ever be as precise as the pattern pieces that you trace them from.  When drawing your pattern be sure to take your time and make all of your curves flow smoothly.   The same rule applies when cutting up your pattern with scissors.  The circle on the left isn't nearly as smooth as it should be.  Compare it to the circle on the right and you'll see what I mean.  Starting with an accurate pattern will make your job of cutting and fitting pieces together much easier.  When using scissors be sure to open them nice and wide. Small cuts make uneven cuts as you can clearly see in the circle on the left.

Linda F really outdid herself on this patriotic window.  Her eagle is majestic and the flag flows brightly and beautifully behind it.  Great colors and excellent cutting brought this window together wonderfully.  What you don't see is just how small these pieces are.  This window is just 12 inches wide!  It shouldn't have been easy to cut or fit together but it was certainly easy for Linda.

Jeanne completed her pair of Beveled Crosses this week and what a great pair these are.  Symmetry is the key here and Jeanne did a great job with that.  You just can't lose with this cross design.


Linda L completed her window this week and it's instantly recognizable as the United States Air Force Logo.  She's really learning a lot with each project that she makes and she needs less and less help with each passing week.  Pretty soon she won't need us anymore! 

Bonnie completed her Bunny in a Hat suncatcher and it's another winner.  And she completed it just in time for Easter as well.  Nice work!

Rowena made a pair of Rabbits as well this week.  Hers are a little different from the one that Bonnie made but the sentiment is still the same: Happy Easter!

Our last completed project this week is Mary Grace's clear textured Candle Holder.  Straight lines are always problematic but Mary Grace has pistol grip cutting skills so this went together nicely in her jig.  Everything lined up perfectly and now all it needs is a candle in it.

Sheri's Stylized Fleur De Lis Window is ready for it's border!  She got her background glass all cut out and ground this week and has taken the pieces home with her to wrap.  Hopefully she won't be nearly as nervous wrapping her background while at home as she was with her Fleur De Lis pieces.  He background glass isn't bumpy at all so I think she'll have a real easy time with it.

Beck S's Swirling Geometrical window is all cut out now.  She covered her background pieces completely with foil (which you can see in the picture of the left) and then covered all of the foil with solder when she tacked them into place.  Next she cut out a border for her window which means that she will begin soldering this when she comes back.  Be sure to enlarge this picture to see what a difference a little solder makes.

Betty is almost ready to solder her latest Jester Face but it's her Butterfly that I fell in love with this week.  It's a great pattern and she used fantastic colors in it.  I can't wait to hang this up and get some light behind it.

Ann's begun cutting the final fancy borders to her Cross Transom Window.  She made excellent progress on it with only the ribbons and the background left to cut out. Ann grinds pretty quickly so I don't imagine that we'll be seeing her working on this window for too much longer.  Look how wonderfully everything fits together in this!

Carol is waiting on background glass to arrive and has started making these three Bird Suncatchers in the meantime.  As you can see, they're already tacked together which means that these will easily be completed when we see them again.  Carol certainly doesn't waste any time when she starts working on a project.   I apologize for the drunkenness of the birds-- I took the picture upside down and was more worried about them being in focus rather than paying attention to what directions they were in!  They'll fly straight next week and that's a promise.

Gale's Magnolia Window is only a handful of pieces away from being completely ground.  She's taken her pieces home to wrap so I have no doubt that we'll see this tacked together when she comes back into class.

Jan began working on her first window and it's a study in straight cuts.  One might think that this is a simple project but it is very important to keep all of the lines straight or the entire effect is ruined.  Jan had a lesson in using the pistol grip cutter to ensure that her cuts don't waver and she's already gotten one of her six clear textures all cut out.  Great job!

Shelley came in with this Red Fish pattern that amazingly enough is a pattern that one of our weekend workshop students wants to make as well.  Shelley has one class in on this and has the sand and the rocks cut out leaving just the fish and the water left to go.  It's a large window and the fish is complex so this may take a little time.  (The pattern she's building this on is colored so it's hard to see exactly what's be cut out and what hasn't.)

Barbara is starting a second Butterfly Lawn Ornament and is moving right along.  She's taken glass home with her to work on during the week so who knows what she'll come back into class with.  All I know is that this pair of butterflies will certainly look great when she solders them together.

Jeannette is ready to begin cutting out the background pieces for her Peacock Window.  The hard work is behind her now and the rest of this will certainly be a piece of cake.  In fact, I expect to see all of the background cut when she comes back in.  It's going to be THAT easy! Jeannette has picked her inner border glass so we cut the strips and have them laid out to give you a better feel for what this window will look like when it's completed.

Charlie finished all of the soldering on his first Bird Of Paradise Window and it's quite large.  The picture below has been rotated and the boards that you see behind the window are actually one of our large glass racks.  Charlie will be washing and waxing this window when he comes back in so expect to see this completed in our next post.  Then Charlie can move along to his mirror image version of this window (which is just as big!)

Linda F started work on this Turkey but I'm unsure if it will be a window, a suncatcher or a Lawn Ornament.  I'll know for certain when she returns and that's good enough for me.

Vickie's Geometric Window is all cut and ground save for its border but we won't be adding that until what you see below is all wrapped and tacked together.  When Jeannette made this she brought it back and added a second border to it which makes me wonder if Vickie will put two borders on hers as well.  


Brenda's JP Window is all ready for it's border and then a quick soldering.  The border won't take long at all so I know she'll have her soldering tip to the metal when she returns.  And she's a great solderer so who knows how far along this will be when we see it next.


Linda L worked on three Bunny Windows while she was sick at home last week and she began cutting all of the background glass for them while she was in class this week.  I only have a picture of two of them but these are almost completed already and the third one isn't far behind!

Terry's Swirling Flowers Window is being foiled and it's really looking great now.  All the pieces are fitted perfectly and the copper foil around the pieces gives us a good idea of just what this will look like when it's completed.

Martha got two of her crawfish cut out leaving just two more to go.  Filling in the background will be easy enough but there's still a lot of wrapping to do on this project.  But wrapping is relaxing so she  won't have a problem with that at all.  Or will she?  (Not everyone finds wrapping as relaxing as I do and I honestly don't know how Martha feels about foiling.)

Sue has moved on to two more hats this week and they're beautiful.  She's doing mirror images again because these will also be Lawn Ornaments when they are completed (which I'm assuming will be next week knowing how Sue works).


Myrt's Cross De Lis only needs to get its border wrapped and tacked into place before we add a brass channel to it.  Once that's done all it will need is a coat of solder on the front and back and this will be as good as completed.

As fate would have it, Rowena's original Bevel Cluster  arrived right after she ordered a replacement Bevel Cluster.  She's looked over both of them and has decided that although they are incredibly similar she likes her original choice best.  So this week we got to see her begin wrapping her new cluster.  By the end of class it was wrapped and ready to be tacked together. 

Cindy's LSU Tiger De Lis Window is ready to be wrapped.  She'll be putting quarter sections of FDL's in each of the corners and just for good measure she's decided to give this window a nice, fancy, triple border.  It's time consuming to do but worth every extra minute.

And Susan's got even more Eggs ready for foiling.  At this point in time I'm thinking she has a dozen of these getting ready to be soldered and staked so they can be used as Lawn Ornaments.

This is the latest American Flag Lawn Ornament that Mary Grace is working on and you can clearly see how nicely she's moving along on this one.  Things are fitting better than ever and her curves flow more smoothly than they ever have.  With half of this wrapped I'd say there's a good chance that she'll have this completed next week.

And in the end we take a look at the pattern that Becky B is using for her Iris Window.  She discovered the hard way that having your pattern pieces traced onto poster board makes transferring them to glass MUCH easier.  These will be Rust colored Irises which I think are going to look great. Oh, and there's a Dragon Fly in there as well.

Wow, I can't believe how hard it is for me to keep track of who's making what.  It took me over a half an hour to hunt down the fact that Rowena made the pair of Bunnies this week.  Yikes.  I guess it's time for me to start taking notes!